Imagine a group of people standing in front of the two photos of old windows included with this blog. There would be a variety of opinions about the colorful presentation on the glass. Some people would consider the paintings quaint, clever, beautiful, attention-grabbing, or a work of art. Other opinions may edge toward dislike.

But no matter how much you like them or dislike them—what you are looking at is a fake. The drawings are representing something that isn’t there—isn’t real. There are no curtains. There is no vase or pretty flowers.

At a glance, the paintings make the world think they are genuine and give the house that lived-in look, an indication that happy times still exist. But they don’t. The pretty, painted windows hide emptiness, disrepair, shabbiness, and promote a lie.

How does this compare to life and people? Some people are a work of art but they are empty inside. Others put up a fancy front and hide hurts. A bold outward appearance may be a cover for insecurity. A jolly laugh might screen depression. The list goes on.

It’s very difficult to learn how to discern what is really behind the established faces. But as we get to know people, we can catch a glimpse of the pain, rejection, and hurts behind the make-believe. God loves the person behind the façade. He doesn’t just look at the outward appearance. The Bible urges us to look beyond the pretense and see the real person, the troubles, and the hurt. God’s word tells us to love everyone, not jump in with rags to clean them up. We can’t assume we have the ability to scrub their grief away, attempt major changes and overhauls, or redo them to suit our standards.

Behind the fancy painted glass there may be emptiness, but you can help fill it with hope and a better life. Ask God to give you the ability to discern when a careful painting is taking the place of a real face. We can express God’s love to those around us by reaching out to them and giving of ourselves.

“If we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.” 1 John 4:12 NLT

Please scroll downward and leave your comments. Otherwise, how will I know you came to visit?

~Karen Campbell Prough

6 Responses to PUTTING ON A FACE

  • Makes me wonder….”what is really “fake” and what is really “real”……
    how do others perceive me?….and how does God perceive me? Am I
    just a “painted” facade”? Hopefully,someone can “open” one of my
    windows and see what is going on in my life. Thanks for the wake up
    call. Peace, Grace, & Love to you.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. The window paintings were on empty shells of houses. It was quiet walking around there by myself. It kinds of stops you in your tracks when you turn the corner and see the windows. When were they painted? By whom?


  • Great post, Karen. I love this: “God’s word tells us to love everyone, not jump in with rags to clean them up.” That’s so profound and visual.

    That’s one of the reason I so enjoy–yes, enjoy–going to recovery groups. It’s that feeling of safety, of people taking off masks with no judgment–or advice, even. Just raw transparency. Refreshing.

    Thanks for sharing. Maybe I’ll visit a recovery group this week. 😉


    • Daphne, thank you for reading the post. I don’t see how you’d find time to visit a recovery group with all the “little ones”. 🙂
      I know right now that I will miss the next writers’ meeting, but might make the next one. Sorry!


  • LaVonne, that’s a great statement…shine the love of God back in!
    It was strange seeing the painted windows on a house where all the other windows were bare or smashed out. There were about five houses….sitting empty, right off an overlook and parking lot. Stephanie was busy looking at something….an old mine? and reading about it. I got bored and I hiked down the slope to these houses and wandered around snapping pictures. I didn’t know if I was suppose to be down there, but it was the kind of stuff I like. Thanks for reading!

  • Karen, I really liked this. I see lots of painted windows in my world. Praying I shine the love of God back in!

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